The Virtual Arena: Rise of the Virtual Athlete

The Virtual Arena

The application of VR into the attraction and amusement landscape is covered by industry specialist Kevin Williams, in his latest Virtual Arena column – looking at the growth in the LBE landscape for eSport, and competitive VR attractions.

Virtual Arena shooter

Much has been made about the opportunities of eSport within a virtual ecosystem, though from a consumer perspective, there has been more speculative investment regarding the opportunity. As seen with the acquisition by Meta of emerging eSports company BigBox VR (developers of POPULATION: ONE). While hunger exists from the player-base for VR eSports competition, only the Out-of-Home entertainment landscape has seen a serious adoption of actual mainstream prize based, virtual, competitive play. And this trend can be seen to be gaining momentum.

One of the first VR attraction developers to embrace the opportunities of eSport empowerment of their platform was Virtuix. The company known for their ‘Omni Arena’ competitive VR enclosure system have successfully installed some 45 units across the USA. Virtuix reported that it has seen over 2-million plays on its hardware. The system gained popularity through its prize pay-out competition. The company revealed the launch of their ‘2022 Omni Arena esports series’ – that will be supported by a cash prize pool of $100,000 for FEC venues. This investment has placed the platform on the map as being one of the largest VR eSports competitions in the West.

Virtuix winners
Image credit: Virtuix

The popularity of the competitive nature of the game can be seen in the revenue it generates for operators. Virtuix revealed that some of its eSports teams have already played over 200-times on the ‘Omni Arena’. This is also supported by the watching audience that gathers to support the team and the building of a community supported on social media. Virtuix already paid out some $250,000 in eSports cash prizes. It would be easy to liken this popularity to that once witnessed in the bowling scene, but the physicality of VR eSports takes the competitive spirit to new levels of engagement.

One of the few VR videogame titles to have a strong competitive life in the consumer scene is the smash hit Tower Tag by VR Nerds. The games have been played across popular consumer VR platforms in tournament competitions but have also had a strong showing in location-based entertainment (LBE). In a relationship with Japanese amusement giant SEGA, VR Nerds licensed the game to be turned into a VR attraction platform, supported by VAL (Virtual Athletics League). And recently announced that the game would be coming to the West in an agreement that will see it placed onto the SPREE Interactive arena system. This free-roaming platform, allowing up to 10-players at a time to compete, using the standalone Pico VR headset. And will adapt a wholly eSports version of Tower Tag that will be available on the ‘SPREE Arena’ system.

SPREE Arena
The SPREE Arena in operation. Image credit: KWP

Another platform that applies eSports to their line-up is HOLOGATE. Famous for its successful ‘HOLOGATE Arena’ that has groups of up to four players, using tethered HTC Pro headsets, within a unique enclosure. The high levels of competition are supported by the inclusion of an extensive and customisable eSports tournament platform. The library of competition content on this platform also includes the Tower Tag property.

It is this level of competition, as well as an extensive library of titles that has cemented the popularity of the HOLOGATE platform with the operators and their virtual athletes. Many operators use the platforms tournament to construct their own team-based, venue competitions. This ability to create live events, offers a level of repeat visitation to the venue, along with the additional spend from the audience it generates to watch the compelling competition.   

Hologate

Developer Phenomena has created its own ‘VR Esports Arena’ – the whole system being packaged as a turnkey eSports solution for entertainment venue operators. Taking much of the guesswork out of running a free-roaming VR experience, and the requirements of prize tournament competition. Recently demonstrated at the Orlando IAAPA trade event in November 2021, the new version of the system offers a fully contained arena, with up to eight players (within a 32 x 20 ft., enclosure). The players are wearing the latest HTC VIVE Focus 3, standalone VR headsets. With audience supported by score displays. The developer offering one of three highly competitive VR experiences to compete within and looking to build an international tournament in support of the platform.

Phenomena

France saw a massive VR eSports competition take place during the Paris Game Week in 2019. Developer, EVA (Esports Virtual Arenas), installed a temporary 1,000-m2 arena that saw players using backpack PC’s, HP headsets and tracked weaponry, to take part in a major prize tournament competition. Building on this the company announced their first ‘VR Esport league’, attracting some 52 teams, competing for a $19,000 (€17,000 Euro) cash-prize. Having generated some 400,000 unique spectators on Twitch during the playoffs.

EVA has installed some nine rooms in venues, offering between eight and 12-player VR eSports arenas in France. Having signed licenses to open some 40 additional arenas for the end of 2022 in the country. They have developed several games themselves that plunge groups into tournament competitions. During a recent franchise expo in Paris, the company revealed its intention to have opened 225 arenas by 2025, expanding to Germany and the USA. Having seen first-hand the popularity of their eSports competition platform with their play-base.

EVA - player1

Looking beyond the Western market, and we have seen eSports-based VR competition blossom on the Chinese entertainment scene. While the Chinese “VR Park” (the name given to VR arcades in the territory) has seen a continuing upheaval in business, the popularity of VR gaming is still alive and well. Competition plays a major part in defining the deployment of VR into this market – a market where many players will travel to venues to compete, be that the ubiquitous eSport cafes, or the explosion of new VR venues. Such as that operated by STEPVR, with over 130 ‘Future Battle’ stores, across 80 cities within China. These venues have groups of up to ten players competing in a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) experience. STEPVR has recently raised $15m (100-million-yuan) in funding towards international growth.

StepVR - Future Battle

The territory was one of the first to embrace virtual competition, with the first VR eSports event, the ‘World Virtual Reality Arena 2015’, organized then by Battletimes Co., but this is still an embryonic market. More recently China has seen several major VR eSport tournaments streamed across popular social networks – such as this year with the ‘VR Esports International Championship in Beijing’. A point where we now see major social content providers, such as NetEase, showing interest to invest heavily in this emerging new business.

Returning to the West, and not just free-roaming VR is being employed in an eSports combination. VRstudios is a well-known developer of VR entertainment platforms, and recently launched a major new development, which looks to shake up the way VR amusement is played. Called Hoops Madness, the game experience has been revealed on the new ‘FURY’ unattended two-player kiosk – a self-service VR entertainment platform that incorporates a unique tethered HTC Vive Pro headset configuration, eye-catching LCD display, all in a ‘V’ shape design. But it is the game that drives the whole platform, with Hoops Madness representing a fast-paced basketball hoop’s shooting experience, testing the players’ skill. The game is the first in a line of ‘VRstudios Real-Sport Esports’ titles. The company offers operators guides to marketing and utilizing the ‘FURY’ and Hoops Madness as a platform for VR eSports events, competitions, and tournaments.

In the final observation, it is obvious that the ability to offer a real cash prize incentive to competition has driven much of the interest from the player base. As seen with the explosion of eSports in its more conventional flat-screen incarnation. But one of the benefits that the Out-of-Home version of the competition shares with the considerable investment in eSports, is the large audience live events. Many entertainment venue operators benefit from the audience that is drawn to see the competition on their platforms. The next move is that of streaming these events. The big ‘DOTA’, ‘Counter-Strike’, and ‘League of Legends’ championships, not only draw large live event attendance but generate immense audiences through their streamed broadcasts. The ‘League of Legends World Championships’ in 2020 saw at its peak, some 46 million concurrent viewers, while Global audiences for eSport were calculated at some 475 million in 2021.

We can expect to witness new entrants throw their hat into the ring towards competing in the commercial entertainment application of VR eSports. We have already seen Las Vegas casino chains install massive eSports arenas within their premises and have also seen the inclusion of VR within their layout. We will also start to see the establishment of eSports betting, and with the greater prize opportunities, we can expect major licensing deals for the lucrative sponsorship and coverage. Global revenue in 2021 from competitive gaming is projected to hit over $1 billion.

VR eSports is an attractive medium, and seems to be growing in popularity, but is it ready now for primetime in the West?

VRML Hosting Zombieland VR Tournament With $10K Prize Pool

VR Master League (VRML) is hosting a Zombieland VR esports tournament with over $10,000 in cash prizes up for grabs.

The Zombieland VR Invitational will take place on October 2, with qualifying rounds open to the public over the next few weeks. Anyone who owns Zomebieland VR is able to enter in the qualifiers and compete for a place in the invitational.

zombieland vr vrml tournament poster

The four qualifier events will take place over the following days, with the following event codes:

– September 18 (9am PST – 9pm PST): 1111

– September 19 (9am PST – 9pm PST): 1112

– September 25 (9am PST – 9pm PST): 1113

– September 26 (9am PST – 9pm PST):1114

In any of those four periods, players can join the qualifier through the Zombieland VR game itself. Players will have to pause the game, head to the options menu and select gameplay. Then click the next button two times and select ‘Enter event code.’

After entering the corresponding event code that day (eg 1111 for September 18), you will then have until 9pm PST to set the highest score on the crossplay leaderboard, which will be displayed here. This is different from the in-game leaderboard, which only displays the scores for your headset platform of choice.

The highest scoring player from each qualifier event will advance into the invitational. However, VRML notes that anyone who makes it through to the invitational will have to be able to live stream their POV during the event, otherwise the next eligible player from the qualifiers will be picked.

The Zombieland Invitational runs on October 2 and will feature all four players from the qualifiers competing against each other, accompanied by expert esports commentary and streamed live on the VRML Twitch channel.

Virtex Wants To Enhance The Esports Stadium Experience With VR

London-based VR developer Virtex wants to bring the excitement and atmosphere of experiencing esports at a live event to VR headsets.

The company today announced Virtex Stadium, a virtual venue intending to host big esports matches. Virtex says its stadium has a capacity of 200 people per server (running as many servers as necessary per event), allowing friends to meet up and head into a stream.

Virtex Stadium Full

Inside the venue, matches are aiming to be shown as 3D holograms in the center of the space. Imagine watching a match of, say, Onward not just on a 2D screen but also from a kind of isometric view as if it were really happening on the stadium floor below. But Virtex hasn’t yet provided a look at this system working in real-time, nor confirmed any titles that will be compatible with the experience. All we have to go on for now is the first concept art (above) and an announcement trailer (below).

A press release also states that viewers will “jump from their seat right into the game map as the match unfolds around them.” Co-founder and COO Christoph Ortlepp also told me the team will offer different options for monetization, including selling tickets to events.

It sounds ambitious and we’re yet to see live VR events really take off at the capacity Virtex is envisioning. The company is planning to launch an open beta later this year, when it will also announce the first slate of supported titles. It’s coming to PC VR headsets first with plans for an Oculus Quest launch later down the line. You can keep up to date with the app on an official website.

Do you think Virtex Stadium could live up to its promising premise? Let us know in the comments below!

SideQuest Team Up With Dash League, Logitech For Hyper Dash Esports Tournament

A new Hyper Dash esports tournament is set to be broadcast this weekend, in partnership with SideQuest, Dash League and Logitech.

Hyper Dash is a competitive team shooter that started out with an alpha demo on SideQuest last year before releasing on the official Oculus Store a few months ago.

Dash League runs competitive 5v5 tournaments for the game in a league format and it’s teamed up with SideQuest and Logitech for this weekend’s tournament matches as part of the Side Dash Tournament. All the matches will be broadcast online and it kicks off at 12pm PDT on May 22.

Tournament registration was previously open to existing Dash League members but all spots have now been filled. Those who registered, of which there are currently 70, are placed into five-person teams to compete with throughout the tournament. You can see a list of all the currently registered players here.

hyper dash esports tournament side dash

While Dash League is running the tournament organization, it’s also being run in partnership with SideQuest and Logitech.

“SideQuest are excited about the potential of Esports in VR and how we can take the action of traditional sports married with the convenience of Esports and create really fun and engaging events in VR,” said SideQuest COO and Co-Found Orla Harris in a prepared statement. “We welcome spectators to Side Dash. We are gathering feedback on  the tournament from both participants and spectators with the hope of creating further Esports possibilities for the SideQuest community.”

Logitech’s support is coming in the form of prizing and the use of its tournament management platform, Challonge. First place in the tournament receives $400 ($80/player), second gets $250 ($50/player) and third place $150 ($30/player).

The Side Dash Tournament begins at 12pm PDT / 8pm BST on May 22 and will be available to watch at www.side.quest/sidedash.

Echo VR Challenger Cup Broadcast Live In Venues This Weekend

The third season of VR Master League’s (VRML) competitive Echo VR matches continue this weekend, with the second challenger cup concluding cycle 2 of the season.

VRML began Season 3 of their competitive Echo VR matches earlier this year, many of which are broadcast live in VR through Oculus’ Venues app, available on Quest. Season 3 brought some new structural changes compared to last year’s second season, with  a “flexible ladder system” that accounts for multiple divisions with players at any skill level, from Master down to Bronze.

The regular season matches are spread out over three cycles, each of which conclude with a Challenge Cup. The cups are an opportunity for teams in the second highest division, Diamond Division, to make it into the Master Division for the next cycle of regular season play. Likewise, for some of the teams in the Master Division, this is their chance to keep their spot and avoid relegation for the next cycle.

echo vr vrml

The 2nd Challenger Cup of the season will be broadcast in Venues this week for both the NA and EU regions , with six teams competing per region — five from Diamond, trying to move up a division, and one from Master, fighting to keep their spot and avoid relegation down to Diamond.

The teams competing in the EU Challenger Cup are Clockwork, Everest, Baked Potato, Ronins, Exploited from Diamond and Nantes Esport from Master. Likewise in the NA division its Wrath, 7, Corrosion, Genz, Rush and Illumidooty (formerly known as Illuminaughty and Illumidotty) from Master.

The entire Challenger Cup for both regions will be broadcast in Venues this weekend, so you can watch the matches by yourself or with friends in a social setting. Venues features a live theater-sized virtual screen, which emulates the feeling of attending a large sports event.

You can view your timezone’s start and end times for the NA Challenger Cup broadcast here, or the start and end times for the EU broadcast here. Outside of VR, the matches will also be broadcast on YouTube and Twitch.

VR Master League To Bring Live Echo Arena Season 3 Matches To Oculus Venues

VR Master League (VRML) is returning to Oculus Venues starting this week with live in-VR broadcasts of Echo Arena Season 3 VR esports matches.

During Season 2 previously, VRML broadcasted VR esports matches in Oculus Venues so this will be a return to form with “more shows than ever” this time around. The slate of content includes “Challenger Cups” every six weeks for the top teams in the VRML.

You can see the current list of standings right here. At the time of this writing Team Gravity is on top with 9 wins. For Season 3, VRML revamped the entire ladder ranking format.

“Now, the top 10 teams in the VRML are slotted into the Master Division and face off against one another in a round-robin style of matchmaking over the course of five (5) weeks (one cycle). In addition to the Master Division, the Echo Arena VRML maintains its flexible ladder system for players of all skill ranges. Ranging from the Bronze Division to the Diamond Division, the ladder is a space for anybody to play Echo Arena, competitively, against equally skilled opponents.”

For those unaware, Echo Arena is developed by Facebook-owned Ready at Dawn Studios (the same team behind Lone Echo) like zero-gravity ultimate frisbee in VR and it’s awesome. You can get the game for free on Rift/Rift S or on Quest/Quest 2.

Echo Arena VRML games in Oculus Venues should be a really interesting way of enjoying the matches. The large theater-sized virtual screen will emulate the experience of attending a large-scale esports event in the real world like no computer monitor can, especially due to the social aspect of the Venues experience.

VRML has put in a lot of work to keep VR esports chugging right along and has continued to expand their content to include match highlights, interviews, recaps, and more each week. You can find that on the official Echo Arena VRML YouTube channel. They’ve added more casters as well for the hundreds of live matches each and every week.

There are two Twitch channels you can follow for Echo Arena VRML (channel 1 and channel 2) as well as a growing ‘Content Creation Team’ at VRML.

Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

Third Echo Arena VRML Esports Season Begins January 2021

The third season of VRML’s competitive esports league for Echo Arena will begin on January 2021 with an expanded structure and format.

The season will start on January 4 and continue through to May 2, with finals matches scheduled to take place on May 8-9 and May 14-15.

As part of the new season expansion, a VRML Echo Arena Discord channel was opened this week, which will serve as a hub for players and for community leaders to oversee the league. Channels include areas to discuss the league rules, organize scrims, put together rosters and much more.

The new season will also introduce a promotion/relegation format, which is outlined as follows in the Discord:

“Master’s Division will play in a Round Robin format while subsequent divisions play in a Ladder system. The season will have multiple cycles, each ending with a Challenger Cup. The Challenger Cup will take the bottom 2 Master teams and the top 4 Diamond teams to determine which teams will play in Master’s for the next cycle and which teams will play in the Ladder.”

Matches from past VRML’s Echo Arena seasons were broadcast live on Twitch, as well as in Oculus Venues, allowing VR users to watch the games together in a virtual social setting. VRML also runs leagues for other competitive VR titles such as competitive fps Onward.

Echo Arena is the competitive multiplayer mode originally included in Lone Echo, a title that included a separate single-player story and launched for the original Rift in 2017. Last year, developers Ready at Dawn announced that Echo Arena would be coming to Oculus Quest, which launched a few months ago.

Players who are interested in competing in season three can create an account over on the VRML Echo Arena site and join the VRML Echo Arena Discord server now.

Third Echo Arena VRML Esports Season Begins January 2021

The third season of VRML’s competitive esports league for Echo Arena will begin on January 2021 with an expanded structure and format.

The season will start on January 4 and continue through to May 2, with finals matches scheduled to take place on May 8-9 and May 14-15.

As part of the new season expansion, a VRML Echo Arena Discord channel was opened this week, which will serve as a hub for players and for community leaders to oversee the league. Channels include areas to discuss the league rules, organize scrims, put together rosters and much more.

The new season will also introduce a promotion/relegation format, which is outlined as follows in the Discord:

“Master’s Division will play in a Round Robin format while subsequent divisions play in a Ladder system. The season will have multiple cycles, each ending with a Challenger Cup. The Challenger Cup will take the bottom 2 Master teams and the top 4 Diamond teams to determine which teams will play in Master’s for the next cycle and which teams will play in the Ladder.”

Matches from past VRML’s Echo Arena seasons were broadcast live on Twitch, as well as in Oculus Venues, allowing VR users to watch the games together in a virtual social setting. VRML also runs leagues for other competitive VR titles such as competitive fps Onward.

Echo Arena is the competitive multiplayer mode originally included in Lone Echo, a title that included a separate single-player story and launched for the original Rift in 2017. Last year, developers Ready at Dawn announced that Echo Arena would be coming to Oculus Quest, which launched a few months ago.

Players who are interested in competing in season three can create an account over on the VRML Echo Arena site and join the VRML Echo Arena Discord server now.

Oculus Venues To Broadcast VRML Tournaments For Echo Arena, Onward

VR esports tournament organizers VRML (VR Master League) announced the prize pools for the next seasons of their Onward, Echo Arena and Pavlov leagues, with prizes valued up to $12,000 USD across the three titles. Plus, select matches will be broadcast live in Oculus Venues each weekend.

VRML has consistently organized tournament seasons for some of VR’s biggest competitive games, but this latest prize pool is the biggest cumulative pool yet. VRML says that the increase is thanks to more sponsors and partners, however it’s important to note that the pool is only valued at $12,000 — not all of that is cash prizes. However, VRML wants to ensure that opportunities for competitors to win cold hard cash remain available where possible, and so will be contributing to a cash pool themselves for Onward and Echo Arena.

The prize pool distribution is split as follows:

  • Onward: $5,520 USD (including $1500 USD in cash, contributed by VRML and Downpour Interactive)
  • Echo Arena: $3545 USD (including $1400 USD in cash contributed by VRML)
  • Pavlov: $3,060 USD (no cash prize included)

For Onward, this tournament season is the tenth organized by VRML. Pavlov, on the other hand, is in its seventh season with VRML, and Echo Arena its second, resuming after a hiatus.

onward oculus venues

Perhaps even more exciting is the announcement that select Onward and Echo Arena matches will be broadcast in Oculus Venues each weekend, allowing spectators to watch VR esports action in VR itself. The Echo Arena matches will continue to be broadcast in Venues each Saturday, having already begun on July 19. Onward matches will be viewable in Venues on Sunday, starting from a TBA date in August.

It’s an exciting development for the VR esports scene — will you be tuning in to catch any of the matches? Let us know in the comments. On the other hand, if you’re interested in competing instead, you can read more and sign up on the VRML website.

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How Social VR Helped This Esports Player Overcome Social Anxiety

Julian Apellanes was never comfortable going out of his house and although he struggled with issues like anxiety and depression, he didn’t want those things to define him. In a trend noticed by others, Apellanes has discovered a new path to reality through social VR. And unsurprisingly, he has dreamed of immersive gaming since he was a child.

“I’ve been gaming all my life and I thought how cool it would be to be inside those worlds,” the 27-year-old explained to me in an interview. Once news about the original Oculus Kickstarter came along years ago, he kept up with the progress and dreamed of a day when he’d be able to immerse himself in the gaming environment rather than simply watching the action unfold on a 2D screen.

Finally, when the Oculus Rift was released in 2016, his dream became a reality, but he couldn’t have known how being immersed in virtual environments would actually give him the confidence to face more traditional social settings.

Palidore in San Jose for Oculus Connect 6
Julian Apellanes

Apellanes became interested in gaming as a very young child. Raised by his grandparents, he would watch his grandpa play games as a toddler and by the time he was seven or eight years old, he was a master himself.

“I got my online / gaming alias from my grandpa,” explained Apellanes. “He originally came up with the name ‘Palidore’ as the name of his character in the RPG classic Baldur’s Gate, in the late 90s.”

Although his early years in gaming were spent in the lap of his granddad, watching him play and occasionally being permitted to help with a click of the mouse, eventually he began creating his own saves of the game and the name Palidore stuck with him.

Throughout his childhood and teen years, Apellanes started to spend more and more time playing games. In the case of VR, however, you’re actually more present and engaged in the virtual environments, whether you’re floating above the Earth or flying through a virtual arena.

“VR kind of blended the borders between reality and virtual reality,” said Apellanes. “It gave me the first step through that door of interacting with people a lot more so although I was still indoors and interacting with people within my own house, it was very social.”

vrchat rec room

Early studies of the technology, such as one Facebook IQ commissioned with Neurons Inc in 2017, revealed that people respond positively to interactions in virtual reality. This is particularly true of introverts, who might be less self-conscious and have more confidence in a virtual environment.

Social platforms such as AltspaceVR, Bigscreen, VR Chat, and Rec Room are revolutionizing social interactions. Games with social lobbies where players can hang out, chat, and even talk about tough life issues such as dating, schoolwork, and problems at home are indicative of the fact that people are possibly more comfortable in their virtual bodies than their real ones.

“Just getting to be part of the worlds and experience a totally different reality than you’re used to,” said Apellanes, “but still in the comfort of your own home, that’s huge.”

In the summer of 2017, Apellanes began playing in the beta of Echo Arena, a built-for-VR game from Ready At Dawn that utilizes a unique form of movement as players fly, glide, and boost through a zero-gravity environment rather than walking or teleporting. The immersive feeling of the game is so convincing that players frequently report feeling a sensation of “floating” in physical reality after initially playing the game.

Soon after the game’s release, it was featured in the first season of the Oculus-sponsored, ESL-run VR League (called VR Challenger League at the time). Apellanes created a team with two friends – Kerestell “Lemming” Smith and Bryan “iShiny” McCarthy – and they proceeded to dominate the newly formed league.

vr league echo arena esports championship

Being part of a championship team boosted Apellanes’ self-esteem, but the glory of winning also came with a price. Apellanes would have to leave the comfort of his home to compete at LAN events. Initially the team competed at Oculus Connect 4 in San Jose, California and eventually they would travel to Katowice, Poland and Leicester, England.

The team roster changed a bit during seasons 2 and 3 as Simeonk21 replaced iShiny, who remained on as coach. They managed to claim the second world championship in season 2, but failed to qualify for season 3 finals.

Apellanes took it in stride. Since he couldn’t attend VR League Season 3 Grand Finals as a finalist, the young man who wouldn’t leave his room several years earlier purchased a plane ticket to Leicester, England and attended the finals as a community member.

“Everyone has a purpose in life and sometimes it takes time to find it,” stated Apellanes. “For me, getting to go into Echo and being pretty good at it, start making friends, and things like that … my personal success there made me realize I could be good at something. I discovered who I was and who I could be.”

Since he became involved with VR esports, in addition to being one of the world’s top players, Apellanes has also written articles about his experiences and he has become a caster for the Echo Arena VR Master League (VRML). He was recently brought on as a board member for the VRML, a community-driven platform that features the most competitive VR games on the market.

“VR allowed me to kind of show myself what I was capable of,” he stated, adding that he has been “continuing the momentum since then.”

Eclipse image from ESL VR League Sesaon 2

“VR has been a positive influence in many ways,” he said. “VR has helped me socially and mentally with things like anxiety and depression. It allows you to step out of your comfort zones while still being in your comfort zone. VR lets you get out without getting out.”

When people can experience environments at a self-regulated pace, it enables them to develop coping skills that they might find difficult to develop in traditional environments. Whether someone is extremely shy or they’ve experienced trauma, the ability to control the rate of exposure to an environment is vital to success.

The phenomenon of virtual reality being used as exposure therapy without actually forcing people into stress-inducing settings in physical reality hasn’t gone unnoticed by others. Even the Veterans Administration is using virtual reality to help service members deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through programs such as Bravemind VR Exposure Therapy.

“VR is a tech we’ve never quite seen before,” said Apellanes. “It immerses your brain in ways it doesn’t expect. Because of that, it helped me and it helps a lot of other people step out of their comfort zones and experience new things.”

These days Apellanes stays incredibly busy casting games and promoting VR esports. He keeps his eyes open for opportunities as the industry continues to grow and he explores career avenues, looking for ways he might be able to use his talents in a world where virtual and physical realities intersect.

echo vr


Do you have any stories about how VR has helped you with social anxiety, depression, or something else? Let us know down in the comments below!

The post How Social VR Helped This Esports Player Overcome Social Anxiety appeared first on UploadVR.